The effects of complex trauma can impact:
How to build resiliency in children
Resiliency is a great tool to dealing with trauma. It can help the child to recover. Here are some helpful tips:
Resilience Factors: “I Have” “I Am” “I Can”
The “I Have” factors are the external supports and resources that promote resilience. These are the core resources a child has.
• People around me I trust and who love me no matter
• People who set limits for me so I know when to stop before there is danger or trouble
• People who show me how to do things right by the way they do things
• People who want me to learn things on my own
• People who help me when I am sick, in danger or need to learn
The “I am” factors are the child's internal, personal strengths. These are feelings, attitudes and beliefs within the child.
• A person people can like and love
• Glad to do nice things for others and show my concern
• Respectful of myself and others
• Willing to be responsible for what I do
• Sure things will turn out right
The “I Can” factors are the child's social and interpersonal skills.
• Talk to others about things that frighten or bother me
• Find ways to solve problems I face
• Control myself when I feel like doing something not right or dangerous
• Figure out when it is a good time to talk to someone or take action
• Find someone to help me when I need it
AREAS OF IMPACT
RESPONDING TO TRAUMA
Attachment and Relationships: The majority of abused or neglected children have difficulty developing a strong healthy attachment to a caregiver
Physical Health: Body and Brain - Stress in an environment can impair the development of the brain and nervous system, they may be hypersensitive to sounds, smells, touch or light, or they may suffer from anesthesia and analgesia
Emotional Responses: Often have difficulty identifying, expressing, and managing emotions, and may have limited language for feeling states, internalize and/or externalize stress reactions, experience significant depression, anxiety, or anger.
Dissociation: Histories of complex trauma. When children encounter an overwhelming and terrifying experience, they may dissociate, or mentally separate themselves from the experience.
Behavior: The child may struggle with self-regulation, and may lack impulse control. As a result, complexly traumatized children may behave in ways that appear unpredictable, oppositional, volatile, and extreme
Cognition: Children with complex trauma histories may have problems thinking clearly, reasoning, or problem solving.
Self-Concept & Future Orientation: Caregivers have the greatest influence on a child's sense of self-worth and value. Abuse and neglect make a child feel worthless and despondent. A child who is abused will often blame him- or herself.
Long-Term Health Consequences: Connection between childhood trauma exposure, high-risk behaviors (e.g., smoking, unprotected sex), chronic illness such as heart disease and cancer, and early death.
MANAGING YOUNG CHILDREN WITH TRAUMATIC STRESS
Age, developmental maturity, and experience can influence the way we react to stress after the traumatic experience is over.
Because a child's brain does not yet have the ability to quiet down fears, the preschool child may have very strong startle reactions, night terrors, and aggressive outbursts.
Become passive and quiet, easily alarmed, and less secure about being provided with protection.
MANAGING SCHOOL AGED CHILDREN WITH TRAUMATIC STRESS
School-age children think about lots of frightening moments during their traumatic experiences. They also go over what could have stopped them from happening and what could have made them turn out differently.
MANAGING ADOLESCENTS AND TRAUMATIC STRESS
These reactions may result in a sense of personal isolation. In their post-trauma thoughts, adolescents think about behavior and choices that go back to well before a traumatic situation.
SERVICES PROVIDED & RECOVERY
Cognitive-behavioral therapies have been proven effective in helping children with CTS. These therapies generally include the following features:
For a list of treatments go to: http://www.nctsn.org/resources/topics/treatments-that-work/promising-practices#top
PARENTING CHILDREN WITH TRAUMA
Lower your voice. Do not yell or show aggression.
Some children see this as a threat.
For a child who was abused, this may cause panic and out-of-control behavior.
Show acceptable ways for her to deal with feelings.
Teach your child that others can be trusted.
Ask for help when you have concerns, questions, or are struggling. There are proven therapies to help children and parents adjust to trauma's effects. You do not have to do this by yourself.
For any additional questions, call 800.75.SEALS.